I think that a home without art is in some ways like a face without eyes. It lacks expression, communication and let’s face it joy.
Art, sculpture, objects, they are just a brilliant way of layering personality into your home and creating warmth and a dialogue with visitors.
Today I am going to focus on one of my favourite-ever artists the very talented Vivienne Strauss.
I discovered Vivienne on Etsy several years ago and I have been building a collection of her work ever since.
(Etsy for the un-initiated is a brilliant e-commerce website where artists/crafters/people sell mainly handmade or vintage items.)
Vivienne is a self-taught painter with a background in Philosophy and a charmingly dry sense of humour. When you look at her pictures, and read the titles of her works, you get a glimpse of what its like to view the world through her gentle, wry and very observant eyes.
A lot of it centres around the humour and pathos to be found in the frailties of humankind. Pride, vanity, arrogance, timidity, misery, bewilderment, you can find it all in her paintings. You sort of feel like you know, or have certainly met, the characters in her work. I was delighted to discover that Vivienne has been known to have a good old rummage at the US equivalent of jumble and boot sales and sometimes uses vintage photos and yearbooks for inspiration for her characters. She has said that sometimes just a well written phrase or an interesting name will spark her imagination and develop into a work of art.
She and her husband, the also very talented artist Matte Stephens, live in Portland, Oregon in the US but her work is available to buy internationally through her Etsy webshop. www.etsy.com/shop/vivstrauss